Students spend a day learning from the circus experts

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YOUNGSTERS from a circus in Portsmouth have been given a helping hand from a world-renowned group of city performers.

Students from Top Banana Circus spent the day with touring group Circus Wonderland – a group that originated in Portsmouth.

Top Banana Circus meets the pros from Circus Wonderland. Picture: Phelim Rowland

Top Banana Circus meets the pros from Circus Wonderland. Picture: Phelim Rowland

Top Banana Circus is a local circus school that aims to encourage youngsters into circus arts.

The group holds a variety of regular classes for both kids and adults including running workshops at various local events such as Victorious Festival and Fratton Street Festival and at Port Solent.

Meeting professional clowns, jugglers, acrobats and more, the young circus stars had the chance to learn from the experts and interact with professional circus artists in a traditional circus setting.

Students had a go at foot-juggling, hula hooping, juggling, acro-balance, cyr wheel and aerial rope.

Jack Shepherd from Top Banana Circus said: ‘It was such a great opportunity to try out some equipment we would never be able to try in our own school.

‘I’ve never met professional circus artistes and it has really inspired me to see what I could achieve with some more practice.’

Jade Smith said: ‘I’ve always wanted to try aerial rope in a real big top and yesterday, I got the chance to spin around on the rope, high in the air with the help and guidance of aerial artist Alicia.’

Circus Wonderland has been touring at King George V Playing Field in Cosham, with upcoming tours scheduled in High Wycombe and Aldershot.

Grace Arnett, director of Circus Wonderland, says that the importance of getting involved with the circus from a young age cannot be underestimated.

She said: ‘As a young person who is also from Portsmouth, I feel it is important to get involved with local circus communities in the area.

‘I have been involved with circus since a young age. I am now 22 and as well as running the show, I also perform with hula hoops, foot-juggling, spinning cube and even taking part in the comedy.’

Top Banana Circus runs a variety of circus classes from ground skills sessions at the Wedgewood Rooms to aerial trapeze, hoop and silks during the week. Go to topbananacircus.com.